Wire forms can be found in nearly every industry; from mouse traps to door hinges wire forms are all around us. There are four basic considerations when creating wire forms regardless of how complex or simple they are.
Wire forms come in all sizes, shapes, and with varying degrees of complexity. Typically wire forms are designed for the individual application, to a specific set of specifications. That being said, we typically create wire forms from wire diameters .010-200,000.
The more complex the shape we create the longer it takes; however, the run of thumb is that the faster you can run a wire form through the less expensive it is. Typically, we can handle anywhere from 222/300-3,000/4,000 pieces an hour.
Wire forms can be created from a wide range of materials. The rule of thumb for material consideration, however, is that the softer the material the easier it is to wind around a tool, the smaller the radius that can be achieved.
Some of the most common materials we work with to create wire forms are:
- Stainless steel
- Music wire (steel)
- Tin coy copper
Wire forms, at heart, are fairly simple to create. The basic process for any wire form, no matter how complex, begins with placing the correct tooling into the machine and allowing the machine to complete the bends necessary for the particular piece. Most of the time this does not require any additional labor or secondary operations. Which is ideal for keeping costs down and production run speeds up!
Determining the correct tooling, however, is a necessary and extremely important step to ensuring that the final form functions correctly.
The machines that we use to create wire forms can handle both right and left-hand bends in the same piece, during the same run through the machine. This helps us cut down on the secondary operations we mentioned above.
When we perform a bend or create a coil, the pieces are bent around a tool. The piece can be manipulated around the tool to create very tight radius bends and coils. The radius of a coil must be larger than the material size, preferable to double the material size. If the radius is smaller than the material size, then you can run into issues with breakage and stability.